Selkirk Rex Description
Though the Selkirk Rex is similar in name to the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex, it is a different breed in both genetics and coat. Kittens give clues early on as to their coat, they are born curly or straight and do not change as they get older as the gene is dominant in this breed; curly coated kittens will always be curly and straight coated kittens will not develop curls. The best coats are found on mature males and spayed females, with the best display of curl occuring on flanks, tummy and neck; the back has the least amount of curl. The Selkirk Rex has two coat lengths, short and long, both lengths have different requirements. A short coat should be soft, plushy, full and curly; dense with no bald or thinly covered areas. The hair should stand out from the body and not appear flat. Curling should be random and unstructured, arranged in loose curls that appear as clumps rather than waves and should affect the whole coat. The tail should be plush and the hair should lie compactly.
The long coat should be soft, full and curly, and though it should not appear nor be as plush as the short coat, it should not appear thin. Curls should appear as clumps or ringlets rather than waves. The tail should be plumy with hair that stands slightly away. The coat can come in any possible color or color combination.
The head of the Selkirk Rex should be round, broad, and full cheeked in both genders, the muzzle of medium width and chin firm with level or scissor bite. Ears should be medium in size, tapered and set well apart fitting into the rounded contours of the head. Furnishings should be curly if present. Eyes should be large and round giving a sweet, open expression; they should not appear almond or oval shaped.
Selkirk Rex's have a medium to large body that is well-balanced with a rectangular torso that is not too long. Legs should be medium to long with substantial boning, and should be in proportion to the body, ending in large, round and firm feet.
Selkirk Rex Temperament
Patient, loving and tolerant, the Selkirk Rex is a mellow, people oriented cat. Be careful, however, not to associate mellow with lazy, as they retain their kittenish and playful attitudes even as adults. The breed is known for being highly social and will wither if left in isolation. This is not a breed for an uptight cat owner as they are often the butt of bad hair day jokes.
Selkirk Rex Care
The Selkirk Rex is a healthy and sturdy breed. Though regular grooming is appreciated, it is best not to brush them too often or you may loosen their perm.
Selkirk Rex History
The Selkirk Rex is one of the newest breeds to enter the cat fancy scene. The gene responsible for the quirky coat was discovered in a house cat with an interestingly curly coat found in a Montana shelter who was then bred to a black persian. The resulting kittens had the same coat as their mother and the breeders discovered that this variation of the Rex gene was dominant, unlike the gene in the Devon and Cornish Rex breeds. This means that kittens in which one parent is a carrier will be half straight-haired and half curly-haired. Kittens with straight hair will not carry the gene.
The breed has been developed as a cat similar in appearance to the British Shorthair, but with the curly coat. To achieve this, cats with the Selkirk lineage have been outcrossed to British, American and Exotic Shorthairs.
The Selkirk Rex was accepted by TICA in 1990 and by the CFA in 1992.